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Joe Speicher of the Autodesk Foundation discusses how design and engineering solutions can tackle inequality and climate change
On the foundation’s theory of change:
“Our board and our team believe that you can define any societal problem as either a climate change problem or an inequality problem…so our thesis has evolved over the years to bring our resources to bear against those two large challenges.”
On why the foundation started impact investing:
“We have focused our (climate change) efforts to date on ‘what are the opportunities to radically transform how we consume and store energy at industry level scale?’ and all of that stuff is happening in the private market. These are all startups.”
– Joe Speicher, Executive Director, Autodesk Foundation
The Autodesk Foundation is a corporate philanthropy that focuses on how design and engineering solutions can solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The foundation provides funding, software, and human capital to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the areas of low carbon innovation, resilient communities, and future of work. In this episode, Alex sits down with Joe Speicher, the Executive Director of the foundation, to discuss the evolution of the foundation, how and why they landed on those specific impact areas, the reasons the foundation began impact investing, and why Joe believes that philanthropy is a net negative for society.
- Check out the Autodesk Foundation’s Impact Briefs on Resilient Communities, Low Carbon Innovation, and Future of Work
- View the Autodesk Portfolio
- More on the CRANE tool and the foundation’s use of predictive analytics
- Listen to our earlier Money and Meaning episode with Jean Shia, Head of Portfolio and Investment at Autodesk Foundation, on “The Future of Work: Impact Investors on Workforce Development Solutions for the Age of Automation”
About Money + Meaning
Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. The series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors.